Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, competed in the opening-day endurance race of the FEI World Equestrian Games in North Carolina, US, on Wednesday.
He attended the opening ceremony at Tryon International Equestrian Centre in Mill Spring, a small town about two hours drive west of the state's major city, Charlotte, on Tuesday before beginning the race at 6.30am local time the next day.
Sheikh Hamdan was defending his title after taking home the gold for the endurance race in the individual category in 2014's Games, held in Normandy, France.
Riders from 40 different countries took part in this year's 120km race, which was the first event in the quadrennial equine sports festival. The Games run until September 23.
The UAE dominates the endurance horse-racing category, with Emiratis currently making up the top seven in world rankings, according to the FEI.
The sky appeared overcast on the second day of the competition — no doubt a sign of the incoming 225kph hurricane that is due to make landfall later this week.
An estimated 500,000 spectators are expected to attend the Games while more than a million people along the south-east coast will be fleeing the Category 4 storm, reported Reuters.
On Wednesday, the US National Hurricane Centre said Hurricane Florence will bring life-threatening rains and a storm surge to parts of the Carolinas and mid-Atlantic states, jeopardising the homes of more than 5.4 million people.
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